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Chief complaints and diagnoses of displaced Israelis seeking medical treatment during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War

Joshua D. Lipsitz, PhD, Deena Zimmerman, MD, MPH, Nahum Kovalski, MD, Raz Gross, MD, MPH, Rachel Hammel, MD

Abstract


Objective: To examine patterns of visits by residents of northern Israel displaced during the Israel- Lebanon War of 2006 to an urgent care system in central Israel and to compare these patterns with those of local patients.
Design: Retrospective analysis of electronic medical records.
Setting: Urgent care clinic system in and around Jerusalem, Israel.
Participants: Patients residing in northern Israel who presented from July 12 to August 21, 2006. Local patients who presented during the same time period were used for comparison.
Interventions: None.
Main outcome measures: Chief complaints, discharge diagnoses, demographics, and visit characteristics.
Results: There were a total of 1,175 visits for 938 northern patients, reflecting 6.7 percent of total visits to this system. Overall age distribution of northerners was generally similar. As a proportion of visits, adult northerners were less likely to visit for chief complaints of injury or laceration and more likely to visit for complaint of back pain.They were more likely to have a discharge diagnosis of chest pain, anxiety, or hypertension. Northern children and adolescents were less likely to visit due to injury or fall or to have a discharge diagnosis of fracture.They were more likely to have a discharge diagnosis of gastroenteritis or tonsillitis.
Conclusions: Patterns of common discharge diagnoses were generally similar between northern and local residents, with the exception of fewer injury-related visits and more anxiety-related visits. Urgent care appears to have served an important function for displaced individuals during this war, mostly for routine medical needs.


Keywords


urgent, immediate, healthcare, utilization, war

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/ajdm.2010.0036

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